It's close enough now that Grazy Sizemore can almost taste it. But he won't.

There's a very good chance Sizemore will open the season next Monday as the Red Sox starting center fielder, which would be his first appearance in a regular-season, major-league game since the middle of September in 2011.

But Sizemore won't allow himself to think about how special that might be. Not yet, anyway.

"Honestly, it's just looking to the next day," Sizemore said Tuesday after the Sox held off Tampa Bay, 4-2. "I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself, trying to focus on the next game and staying healthy and staying on the program I'm on.

"You can't [think about playing in a big-league game soon]. You can't get too far ahead . . . But the more I'm out there, the more comfortable I feel."

Before Tuesday's game, John Farrell was handicapping the center-field battle between Sizemore and Jackie Bradley Jr., and noted that in the final days of the competition, the Red Sox wouldn't be micro-analyzing every at-bat.

Just in case they do, however, Sizemore gave the Red Sox one more positive to evaluate -- his first homer of the spring, a long two-run belt to right off Tampa Bay lefty Cesar Ramos in the sixth inning.